I'm getting tired of  "studies" (mostly: subtle or not-so-subtle position papers) talking about whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchanges are wild successes or miserable failures based on:

  • One shaky indicator.
  • One small set of shaky indicators.
  • In the case of PPACA supporters: joyous predictions of utopia based on numbers that an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, a fellow at the Urban Institute, or a cat's Ouija board cooked up.

Example: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was supposed to get the exchange applications from would-be exchange plan sellers by this past Friday.

HHS has not posted any application quantity numbers, which might be a genuinely bad sign.

Some people who really dislike the exchanges have pointed out that some state exchanges might not attract all that many carriers.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.